Taiwan president promises even faster reforms under Premier Lai

2016 was the year for laying the foundation for reform, 2017 is the year for construction: Tsai

President Tsai Ing-wen at a party meeting Wednesday.

President Tsai Ing-wen at a party meeting Wednesday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Wednesday that the new Cabinet headed by Premier William Lai (賴清德) would implement reforms even faster than its predecessor.

Tsai on Tuesday presented the mayor of Tainan City as the new head of the Cabinet to succeed Premier Lin Chuan (林全) later in the week. Tsai and Lin came into office last year on May 20, but both have suffered in the opinion polls, partly due to problems with the reform of the working week and of unfair pensions.

During a meeting with a business delegation Wednesday, the president said that “if last year amounted to laying the foundations for reform, then this year is the year of construction,” she was quoted as saying.

Under the new government team, reforms would be even faster and even more thorough, and come on track even better, Tsai reportedly said.

At a meeting with business leaders last year, she had said that government efficiency needed improving, and that there were many “pebbles on the road.” Over the past year, her administration had “picked up those pebbles one by one” and improved the foundation for future economic development, she said Wednesday.

The Lai Cabinet underwent only minor changes compared to Lin’s team, with most of the attention going to the appointment of Wellington Koo (顧立雄) as head of the Financial Supervisory Commission. The attorney admits he is a novice in financial matters, but he gained a high profile leading the Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlements Committee over the past year.